19 Aug Cloud Migration Challenges, Strategies, Checklist & Best Practices
Businesses are always hungry for unlimited data and information. Enterprises thrive on data for decision making and data gets accumulated every second which is mostly hosted on enterprise on-premise servers. But when the scale of business goes high, on-premise storage is not always feasible and secure. Your data and applications can be safely migrated and stored over a secure cloud platform using Azure or Amazon Web Services.
Enterprises switch over to Cloud platforms considering factors like cost, performance and security.
Why should you adopt cloud technology?
IT strategists continuously adopt Cloud Technology for migrating most of their IT workloads to secure cloud.
The public cloud service market is expected to reach $206.2 billion in 2019 worldwide. On an average 5 different cloud platforms are leveraged by Enterprises. The following statistics show that more and more enterprise workloads are being handled by cloud platforms and are predicted to increase rapidly in the coming years.
Factors which enterprises consider while adopting Cloud Technology:
- Cost factor:
As and when your business expands to newer horizons, investment on IT infrastructure also rises. Considering the cost factor brilliant businesses adopt cloud technologies to minimise expenditure on IT landscape. Migrating sensitive customer details, data and other applications to the cloud helps to keep your costs under control. You can manage all these over the cloud easily without worrying about hiring new employees and increasing capability of your existing IT infrastructure. Cloud technology offers you the scalability which is of utmost importance for expanding businesses.
- Agility and Flexibility:
Cloud Providers recommended by leading Cloud Consultancies like Nuvento save you cost, and time and your provider will update the software regularly. This improves your overall business flexibility, security, and efficiency. You can utilize a wide range of services from the cloud, allowing you and your partners to build and develop IT infrastructure, boost customer experience, security, flexibility, and agility in cloud-based platforms.
- Scope of Innovation:
Cloud computing enhances your development and testing. Nuvento suggests the world’s leading cloud providers which include Azure, AWS and various hybrids which allows you to develop and test your websites with customized resources.
- Mobility factor:
Cloud gives your enterprise the power to access data which is scattered across your different departments from any device, anytime, anywhere. With Cloud you are never static. Cloud gives you secure single sign-on (SSO) technology to access multiple accounts and other business applications. You can easily enable SSO service without huge investments and keep control over maintenance costs of operating your own SSO infrastructure.
- Robust backup storage system:
You can choose best in class cloud solutions to back up your data, this includes Microsoft SkyDrive and Amazon S3. Cloud backup solutions helps you to store, synchronize, and quickly access all your files.
Challenges of Cloud Migration:
As the scope of your business increases, Cloud Migration becomes more challenging. Businesses should overcome the following main challenges while moving the operations to cloud:
- Mindset, People and Processes: Nuvento tech innovation centre can guide you and your business team regarding moving to the best cloud platform be it Paas (platform-as-a-service) or IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-service). Most often companies lag behind while adopting cloud migration due to dubious mindset of people and process issues. We will help you overcome challenges and doubts regarding data security, maintaining uptime standards and everything about fastest 24/7 tech support systems.
- Lack of definitive strategy and business objectives: Nuvento Advisors would help your enterprise to bridge the gap wherever and whenever you find a lack in your expertise regarding Cloud strategies. You can easily set your business objectives centred around flexibility, scalability, agility, cost, performance and digital transformation.
- Linking Legacy Systems and Cloud Applications: Most of the enterprise systems are not yet cloud ready. Many organizations still face this challenge to link legacy systems with newest cloud-based business applications. You would require cloud solutions which operate in a hybrid environment which gel smoothly with your business plans.
Cloud migration strategies
Cloud migration is not a simple process and a successful migration strategy is something which can be customised based on customer needs. Strategy must address the technical, functional and operational needs of the enterprise. It should be able to address short term as well as long term needs like reducing hosting costs and smoother alignment between IT and enterprise objectives.
- Lift and Shift or Rehosting Strategy
This is nothing but taking the application from its current hosting environment and moving it to another better and safer environment. Enterprises rely on cloud strategy which moves data and applications from on-premise to cloud which is safer and quickly accessible. It moves your enterprise stack to a new host without the system undergoing major changes. This results in quicker and cost-effective migration, agility, with minimum disruption to your current IT landscape/architecture and faster ROI.
- Replatforming or lift-modify-and-shift
This strategy is all about making some cloud optimizations so that your enterprise receives some measurable benefits. Core architecture of the application remains untouched. You can save time spent on managing your extensive database systems by migrating to a database-as-a-service platform, for example Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) or Amazon Elastic Beanstalk. Enterprises often save millions in terms of operating costs because of the agility and scalability provided by leading Cloud Providers like Azure or AWS. Hundreds of web servers which run on-premise like Weblogic which is highly expensive can be migrated to Azure or AWS.
- Re-purchasing and Re-factoring
Re-purchasing is mainly about moving to a different product like SaaS platform. Moving a CRM to Salesforce.com is an example. Refactoring / Re-architecting is about how the application is developed, mainly using cloud-native features. When your enterprise grows you need to add latest features, scale and improve performance. Refactoring allows you to do all these which is otherwise difficult in the existing environment of the application. Plus, it provides service-oriented platforms which would boost agility.
- Retire or Remove
Find out owners for each application in all your functional areas. Studies show that around 10-20% of a business IT portfolio is useless which can be retired or turned off. These savings often boost business cases and you can divert your team’s attention to more productive things and areas.
- Retain or Return to
Try to retain only those applications which are extremely essential for your enterprise. Prioritizing an existing application which was recently upgraded is a good idea. As and when the applications get migrated to cloud from on-premise, retention reasons also go low.
Cloud migration checklist
Espouse the Cloud – A Simple Cloud Migration Checklist!
Don’t struggle anymore to move your enterprise applications to Cloud. Here is a checklist which you can follow to increase the success rates of your cloud migration.
The checklist contains:
- Create and foster the migration-architect role
- Pick your cloud integration level
- Take a single cloud or select multi-cloud
- Build cloud KPIs
- Decide on performance baselines
- Rank and list migration components
- Complete all essential refactoring
- Generate a data-migration plan
- Switch over production
- Evaluate application resource allocation
Phase 1: Create and foster the migration-architect role
Establishing the migration architect role is the first step towards successful cloud migration. This is a system architect level position and is accountable for all planning, strategizing and completion aspects of the migration process.
Phase 2: Pick your cloud integration level
You can move applications from on-premise to cloud environment using a shallow (lift and shift) cloud integration methodology or a deep cloud integration. In lift and shift you move applications to cloud with only slight changes to the servers. In deep cloud migration, your applications get modified during the process and you get full advantage of key cloud capabilities. This would give you equivalent or even more benefits than using serverless computing services like AWS Lambda. This method is far more progressive than auto scaling or dynamic load balancing.
Phase 3: Take a single cloud or select multi-cloud
This is a very vital decision. Once you decide to choose a single cloud vendor, your attempt to migrate your applications to another cloud provider in the future would be difficult in the sense you might have to start your migration process all over again. This also has negative impacts on your negotiation capabilities mainly regrading SLAs and pricing.
While going for multi cloud, you get the benefit of optimizing all your applications and the flexibility to put your applications wherever you wish in the cloud. Ideal decision is to Riven your applications across various cloud providers. In this way you can reap the benefits provided by all of them. But one risk here is that your application’s customer experience is dependent on all the providers in multi cloud and if any one of them faces issues it could impact badly. Making your applications cloud agnostic is one way to reduce the risks. You can shift loads from one provider to another.
Phase 4: Build cloud KPIs
Define your Cloud KPIs and see how it matches with your expectations. For successful migration your cloud KPIs should show how your in-progress migration is performing. It also points out visible/invisible/probable problems that maybe prowling within your applications. Cloud KPIs can also give a rough idea on the tentative completion of your migration project.
Sample Cloud KPI for User Experience Category can be Page Load Time, Lags, Session duration etc. KPIs for Infrastructure can be Disk performance, CPU usage rates, memory usage, network throughput.
Phase 5: Decide on performance baselines
Baselining enables you calculate the future performance after migration in comparison to current performance. Baselines allow you to make improvements and correct any problems. You can set a baseline metric chart for cloud KPIs you want to measure. You can collect all data, be it average or you can collect data over extended periods of time, during peak or critical periods and so on. Clearly define the type of data and duration.
Plan your cloud migration along with Nuvento!
Phase 6: Rank and list migration components
Finalize whether you want to migrate your entire applications all at once or on stage by stage basis. You have to decide the order in which components would be migrated. Dependency diagrams would help you decide all these.
Phase 7: Complete all essential refactoring
Go through what all you want to do with your applications before they are migrated, for instance refactor your application. You can take advantage of dynamic scaling which would help you save on cloud service costs and dynamic cloud capabilities too.
Phase 8: Generate a data-migration plan
You can use a bi-directional syncing mechanism between your on-premise and cloud databases. Make your cloud version to be the main database and enable access to the new database.
You can use a cloud data migration service like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. Stick on to your data migration plan.
Phase 9: Switch over production
Switch over to cloud from on-premise is based on complexity and architecture of your applications, data and data stores. Once you have moved the entire application to the cloud, switch traffic from on-premise stack to cloud stack. Otherwise move stage by stage, test if all working fine then continue this process until all applications and data migrated to cloud.
Phase 10: Evaluate application resource allocation
You still have to consider resource optimization even after migration process is complete. Cloud is optimized for dynamic resource allocation. Make sure your resources are allocated correctly to the application. Also, cloud gives you scalability to allocate additional resources based on your enterprise needs.
Cloud migration best practices
Moving to cloud gives you enormous benefits like reduced costs, enterprise digitalization, and business agility. Following are few best practices which would give your enterprise better success rates on cloud migration:
- Carefully Work out a Migration Strategy
Your business motives, plans and goals have to be identified and use cases for moving to cloud should be traced out using a precise migration strategy. You can migrate your applications in phases. Migration can be planned in pilot phases mode as well in which you begin with the least business-critical workloads and then move on to bigger migration modules.
- Frame a Cloud Governance Agenda
Enterprises are always apprehensive towards compliance and security while moving applications to the cloud. A solid cloud governance framework with policy-based rules outlined would enable a secure cloud migration. It reduces inherent risks involved in cloud migration where third party services are involved.
- Augment the Network
Enterprises are always worried about how safe the network is on which cloud stores/exchanges data and information. Speed of the network is another concern area. Public internet is not always the right option because of its vulnerabilities and breach is easy. Hence, AWS offers a dedicated secure network connection on which your data and applications are always safe and securely accessible at a higher speed. Azure helps you bypass the internet by providing ExpressRoute service which allows you to connect directly to your network from Azure.
- Get your workforce Cloud Ready
Conducting cloud workshops to prepare your workforce on enhancing their cloud skills/expertise is a best practice which needs top priority. Cross functional collaborative cloud trainings are crucial to get your team familiar with complex cloud concepts.
- Draft and File your Enterprise Software Licencing
Get it clarified from your cloud provider as to whether your existing licences for on-premise software gets extended to the cloud. Licences for each software application should be updated and managed while they get moved to the cloud. Software asset management tools can help reduce risks and complexities associated with extending licences.
- Avoid repetitions/automate and Monitor cloud Usage.
Automation speeds up your migration process and reduces costs/risks. Also, it reduces downtimes/service disruptions to a great extent. Monitoring your cloud usage can help enormous funds from getting wasted. Identify various running instances across many cloud services using an intelligent dashboard. Monitoring is essential for compliance and you can collect all your security related logs from apps, systems, databases and many different network touchpoints.
So, when you consider migrating to the cloud, go through all the points listed in this manual. When in doubt as to whom to choose for a smoother and hassle-free cloud migration Get in touch with Us.